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Moving Through a City
Lab 3 - Robot City Challenge

Teacher Portal


Materials Needed

The following is a list of all the materials and teaching resources that are needed to complete the VEX 123 Lab. First listed are the materials needed for the entire Lab, including the 123 Robot. In certain Labs, links to teaching resources in a slideshow format have been included. Not all Labs will include a slideshow. These slides can help provide context and inspiration for your students. All slides are editable, and can be projected for students or used as a teacher resource.

Materials Purpose Recommendation

VEXcode 123

To create a project to run on the 123 Robot.

1 per group

123 Robot

To navigate through challenges in Lab activities.

1 per group

123 Tiles (optional)

To be used as a foundation for a class-made city.

1 classroom set assembled for entire class


To run VEXcode 123.

1 per group

Lab 3 Image Slideshow

For teacher facilitation.

1 per class

Recycled Materials

Recycled materials such as paper, cardboard, and pipe cleaners will be used to make the houses, roads, and obstacles for the city.

1 set per group, or set up a classroom station with all materials

Environment Setup

  1. Organize a space in the classroom for multiple groups to set up their 123 Tiles (optional). 
  2. Collect and store recyclable materials for obstacle design in a specific spot. 
  3. Hand out materials based on a token system. Each child has access to a specific amount of tokens for materials. 
  4. Use the floor if you do not have 123 Tiles to use in this STEM Lab.


Begin the lab by engaging with the students.

  1. Hook

    Who made your house or apartment you live in? Did an engineer build the house? 

  2. Demonstrate

    Teacher will demonstrate how to make a house using recycled cardboard and paper. Students will learn how to engineer a house to add to a classroom city. The classroom city will be completed through adding all houses. Students will engineer a road to complete the classroom city.

  3. Leading Question

    How do we make a city that our 123 Robot can navigate through?


Allow students to explore the concepts introduced.

Part 1

Students will explore how to navigate the city through using commands such as forward, left, right, and backward.

Mid-Play Break

Teacher will ask questions about how the 123 Robot can navigate the classroom city with obstacles.

Part 2

Students will create a sequence of code to navigate their classroom city avoiding obstacles.


Allow students to discuss and display their learning.

Active Share

Teams will take turns navigating a section of the classroom city. Students will offer positive feedback and troubleshooting tips.

A VEX 123 character

Discussion Prompts